Florence today: Jeff Koons exhibit; fancy boots; a devilish Florentine landmark; & a current sculpture exhibit

A stroll through the center of Florence is always interesting and I’ve been surprised by all the American English I hear throughout the city.

There’s a Jeff Koon exhibit on now at the Strozzi Palace. His Balloon Monkey fills up the courtyard in a shiny way.

I grew up wearing cowboy boots because I rode horses and competed in small rodeos. I never wore cowboy boots like these though:

Clearly the American West has inspired at least one Italian designer for the fall. Check out the same mannequin’s headwear: a leather bandana.

Not far from this shop window is the Canto dei Diavali on the corner of Via dei Vecchietti.

The smallish bronze statue is by Giambologna, the artist who also renovated the palace for the Vecchietti family to which it is attached. The small statue represents a demonic figure that has some traits of a satyr as well. The current bronze is a copy of the original, which is preserved at the Museo Bardini, across the river. Records show that in 1578 the patron Bernardo Vecchietti commissioned the Flemish artist Giambologna to renovate his sumptuous residence. The statue may allude to a story about a devil in the form of a black horse that was subdued.

And, finally, there’s a new installation in the Piazza della Signoria:

It depicts a lion standing on its back legs with a human head in its mouth. A headless figures lies in front of the lion. I haven’t read who this is by or what it represents, but I’ll keep you posted.

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